Affiliative Leadership: How Does It Benefit An Organization?

An affiliative leadership style is one where a manager uses their team’s emotional, physical, and mental health. This is one of the leadership styles that is going to have a positive effect on the employees.

Once you are aware of this form of leadership, it is going to enhance performance and develop a degree of trust in the team environment. Before we go ahead, there is a need to understand affiliative leadership.

Who Is An Affiliated Leader?

An affiliative leader advocates a practical approach to building relationships and goes on to harmonize a disjointed team in an organization.

These leaders advocate a people-first approach, which works out to be effective if you mend bad feelings or motivate others during stress or a high workload.

The objective of an affiliative leader is to develop harmony in the workplace and ensure that the employees are happy. The aim of the leader is to build strong relationships with the employees in the hope of building loyalty.

The Characteristics Of An Affiliated Leader

Certain qualities characterize the qualities of an effective affiliative leader, as follows:

List Of Characteristics Of Affiliated Leader

  • Harmony
  • Connection
  • Praise
  • Flexibility
  • Resilience
  • Positivity
  • Harmony: an affiliative leader focuses on conflict resolution where the employees’ emotional needs are prioritized. Such a technique helps to prevent criticism and maintains a peaceful and empathetic work culture.

  • Connection: Being an affiliate leader means establishing a connection with the team members and taking stock of their emotions to understand their well-being.

  • Praise: one of the main characteristics of affiliative leadership is to motivate the employees towards rewards in an organization. This leadership style focuses on encouragement and praise to support the team’s growth.

  • Flexibility—flexible working conditions like a remote working environment—is one of the characteristics of this form of leadership style. It relies on a comfortable work environment to build trust with the employees.

  • Resilience: such a type of leadership style fosters creativity and imagination, where employees can think of creative ways to accomplish their goals and objectives.

  • Positivity: such a leadership style encourages positive interactions, paving the way for effective communication and positive feedback.

The Benefits Of Affiliative Leadership

Below are some of the benefits of affiliative leadership, as follows:

Development of effective teams

An affiliated leader can form a strong team in a collaborative work environment. The moment you can create unity within the workplace provides a degree of safety and inclusiveness.

This enables you to reduce employee turnover and enhance productivity of the employees.

Employee morale improves

An affiliative leader motivates the leaders by giving them the freedom to express their opinions or thoughts. An employee may feel more valued when they have a degree of autonomy.

This enhances their ability to perform well and work towards the betterment of the organization.

Builds employee trust

This leadership style can develop a safe work environment that encourages the teams to share ideas more effectively. Employees tend to be more honest with employees who give a patient hearing to their problems.

A degree of transparency is vital between the employees and employers and encourages the team members to showcase their ideas and thoughts.

During challenges, she provides strong guidance.

Affiliate leaders help teams and companies confront strong challenges or a transition period that is going to impact the employees.

Such a form of leadership forces employees to frown upon the situation, whereas they go on to maintain work productivity and quality. This is going to encourage the team members to work for the company.

Conflicts are resolved in an effective manner

Affiliated leaders resolve conflicts in an efficient manner. Such leaders are known to pay attention to the emotions of the employees and figure out if any of the members are facing an issue, allowing them to find a solution to a problem. This enhances team efficiency and productivity.

Reduces stress at the workplace

An employee with a caring leader tends to experience less burnout and greater job satisfaction. An affiliative leader improves the well-being of the employees by encouraging positive interactions that go on to reduce potential stress. If the work environment is relaxed, it paves the way for better engagement and more productivity.

Tips To Keep In Mind For Becoming A Better Affiliative Leader

To become an effective affiliative leader, you can follow the below steps.

Choose a balanced approach.

Becoming an effective leader requires you to incorporate a balanced approach and give feedback. It is important to praise the employees and give them constructive feedback when they do not act as intended.

Complying with the company goals means supporting the team and being empathetic while pursuing the company’s vision.

Give due consideration to the external issues

An effective leader must be attentive to employees’ emotional needs and build a strong team. In fact, they should pay attention to the external issues that may impact an organization’s overall well-being.

You must look at the company and figure out how they can help your team grow and succeed with an organization set up.

Train the team on conflict resolution.

Such a form of leadership requires effort from the leader and their team. As a leader, the job is yours to resolve conflicts, but the team members also need to be aware of how they should deal with workplace issues. Conflict resolution can be taught to your employees so they can cope with conflicts effectively.

Which Is The Right Time To Be Using Affiliative Leadership?

The concept of affiliative leadership does have a place in modern times. It is important to figure out when your team would benefit from a change in leadership style. But the likely cases where you can employ this form of leadership style are when

  • Building new teams
  • When an organization is completely stressed

An affiliative leadership style works when you intend to give constructive criticism to your employees and do not overlook their mistakes.

The moment you figure out that there is a decline in an employee’s productivity, you can give them constructive criticism to get them back on track.

An organization will perform effectively if you do not have to cope with many emotional issues on the job.

With this type of leadership, you can provide insights to the team members on how they are going to deal with conflicts and seek out interventions from the leaders.

How Can You Become More Affiliated With Your Team?

There are a few tips you can ponder so that you go on to become affiliated with your team and closer to your team members.

  • Remember birthdays—put all the birthdays in the calendar, and when a birthday is up, make sure to call them and wish them a happy birthday. This will give the employees the feeling that you care about them.

  • Check-in with people on how they are doing. Make sure that you are really listening to the answer. If something major is happening, keep it in mind and ask them about the situation when you interact with them the next time.

  • Some team meetings can be started by asking people about what is happening in their lives; this will not take a lot of time at all. It is going to relax the mood and provide them with an opportunity to come closer to each other.

  • Ask about them with their families. You need to make notes, and if you are having trouble remembering the exact number of people in a family, note it down. It gives you an overview to help you remember things when you meet the person the next time.

  • Watch and understand the body language of your team members. If you see that people are tense and have broad looks on their faces, check out the reasons for stressing them. This will give them the feeling that you care about them.

What Are The Scenarios Where Affiliative Leadership Works?

For certain business types and affiliative leadership works with certain models. There are a couple of situations where this module works out to be useful: firstly, when there is a team that is to be built from scratch, and secondly when there is a transition or change taking place in an organization.

Most companies tend to bring affiliate leaders in to support teams or companies facing periods of extreme challenges. The challenge may be in the form of a takeover or a merger.

During this period of uncertainty, a few businesses would require their employees to work at the usual levels. An affiliate leader is bound to provide emotional space to the employees.

When the teams are built from scratch, the affiliate leaders tend to form bonds with each other and develop a degree of emotional and individual stability. These leaders need to focus on the end goal to enhance productivity or any other business success that the company is measuring.


To sum up, every leader requires a different approach, and affiliate leaders’ role is to bring harmony and unity and encourage workers to do their best.

But this leadership style can lead to complacency and poor performance if the leaders are not careful. So the individuals who prescribe this leadership style need to be careful and work out wisely constructed feedback.

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